Klabbers, J., International Law, Fourth Edition, 2024

Written by one of the world's leading international lawyers, this is a landmark publication in the teaching of international law. International law can be defined as 'the rules governing the legal relationship between nations and states'. However, with political, diplomatic and socio-economic factors shaping the law and its application, international law is much more complex. This refreshingly clear, concise textbook encourages students to view international law as a dynamic system of organising the world. Bringing international law back to its first principles and breathing new life and energy into the subject, the book is organised around four questions: Where does it come from? To whom does it apply? How does it resolve conflict? What does it say? This fourth edition includes references to new case-law and literature, and features (brief) discussions on recent topics of general interest, including the Ukraine invasion, global health law and energy law.

  • The new and updated edition of this landmark textbook by a leading international lawyer, featuring new case-law, literature, and discussion on recent developments in international law
  • Places the law consistently in context, discussing the economic and political relevance of international law and showing how it connects to global ethics
  • Connects theory with practice to help students become more engaged and understand how the various branches of international law are connected


Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki
Jan Klabbers is Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He studied international law and political science at the University of Amsterdam. He is a regular consultant to a number of international organizations and has been visiting professor at a number of institutions of higher learning, including the Graduate Institute (Geneva) and Sorbonne (Paris). He directed the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research (2006–2011), and from 2013 to 2018 held the Martti Ahtisaari Chair.


'No-one is better at explaining the nuance of international law while keeping an eye squarely on the details than Jan Klabbers. This new edition of his groundbreaking textbook is a terrific update to an essential book. The book charts the theories and assumptions that make up the international legal system while telling engaging stories about the histories and cases that constitute its practice. The combination is readable, informative, and unmatched among international law textbooks.' Ian Hurd, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies, Northwestern University

'The new edition of this textbook offers well-organised and updated reading material, always with the author's signature combination of systemic rigour and political sensibility, liveliness and academic thoroughness. The textbook is highly recommended for an intelligent and contextualised introduction to international law.' Catherine Brölmann, Associate Professor of international law, Department of International Law, University of Amsterdam

'Refreshing and argumentative, but also clear and concise - this textbook is a must for those wanting to combine the acquisition of knowledge with a deeper appreciation of the disagreements and controversies that abound in International Law.' Nigel White, School of Law, University of Nottingham